Help! 50 year roof? Not according to the adjuster!


We have our first hail damaged ‘totaled’ roof. The previous homeowner was the local fire chief and we have been told multiple times over the past decade that we have a 50 year roof. The first time when we called out an insurance adjuster after our first Hail Storm in 2012. He gave us a disgusted look for wasting his time and left. Then by two different roofing companies that patched a couple of leaks. It is a very ‘different’ looking roof. Puffy looking, to compare it to the smooth, flatter roofs of our neighbors

So, now our insurance adjuster comes out, agrees that the roof is damaged by the last hailstorm and needs to be replaced and looks at me like I am crazy when I say ‘50 year roof’. He says 30-35 at best. Being stubborn I asked if he had his shingle gauge with him. He says ‘nope. Those are useless anyway.’ But he ‘eyeballed’ the roof and it was a 30 year. Then we chat for 20 minutes, become friends, and he tells me about applying for a supplemental if I want to. Basically have my contractor yank a shingle and send it off for testing to see if it is a 50 year. Is this normal? Is there no other way to figure out what sort of shingle it is?

I’ve had two highly rated Master Elite certified GAF roofers out since then - one agreed that it was a 30 year and the other (without my even whispering 50 year roof) became all excited because he is convinced it is a 50 year roof which will be a big chunk of change from the insurance. BUT, he eyeballed it as well! Is there any way to tell without the yank-a-shingle method?

If all of that made sense, my other question is, would you upgrade to standing seam metal roof if it is within budget? My concern is that we do live in a hail prone area and it may end up looking pretty dimpled without qualifying for replacement. I don’t care about how it looks as long as it does it’s job but I am guessing it would put a real dent in resale value.

Thanks in advance.


You need to post some pics.


If I had to guess, you actually have a 30 year shingle that had one of those BS Upgrades to 50 year warranty. A competent contractor should be able to tell in less than 10 minutes.


50 year roof? That mostly works only on worthless warranty paper and in ads. As Dad says, a competent roofer would know right away.


At least CertainTeed and GAF offer a 50 yr limited lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects. I suspect this is where the 50 yr is coming from. This is really moot because roofs rarely fail due to shingles. They fail due to lack of maintenance and leaks due to rusty nails flashing, etc. (or wind/hail).

For a standing seam, you can budget 4 to 5 times what a typical asphalt architectural shingle roof would cost (for a re-roof).


Insist on an Itil test, turn around in less than a week. Get a sample of roof have insurance send it in. It’s usually based on weight and gage. Presidential, tri-laminate, independence usually qualify. Just saying…
Plus they pay more for these shingles like 3x more.


Thanks Mmbo. I think we are going to go that route. We’ve settled on a contractor that we trust who will take care of the testing and filing a supplemental with the insurance for us…


If you mean intek test, don’t waste your time, they are rarely right. We have had literally a hundred roofs that they missed and we had documentation as to what they were, because we roofed them. Ins companies love them because everything is a 39 year to them. They got there start testing carpet for God’s sake.
Gauges are bull too because thickness has changed so many times in last twenty years as to render it mute. Try to find original roofer for invoice, if that doesn’t work and you know the original manufacturer, give sample to their rep for them to identify!


Sorry i believe it’s intertek


Thanks it’s

We have used this service many times. They are considered an authority.

Good luck, email with any questions


MMBO, inc


They maybe considered that, but they are not! When you are wrong, shown where you are wrong time after time and continue to make the same mistake would you call that an “authority”?

Kevin Pratt

Please excuse my abbreviated message sent via iPhone


Never have heard of them taking what a homeowner thought was 30 yr and saying “nope it’s a 50 yr”. Hmmmmm wonder why?

Kevin Pratt

Please excuse my abbreviated message sent via iPhone


I’m not sure why even considering that it might be a 50 yr seems like such a bad idea to so many posters.

The fact of the matter is I have had qualified, experienced roofing people tell me that it is a 50 year roof over the years.

It is not a new roof. It is from 2003 and survived plenty of hail storms with minimal damage until now. We are in Dallas. Hail storms are a regular event.
The previous owner was the local fire chief and all his upgrades to this house were fantastic so I don’t doubt it could be a 50 yr.

Now, whether I am being an optimist or not is beside the point. If the roof is a 50 year certified expensive roof, the insurance pays for replacement for an equivalent roof which means twice to three times as much as they are offering now.

That would mean I can then afford a metal roof (probably still paying for a part out of pocket), get reduced insurance premiums from then on, not have constant repairs and maintenance, etc.

I am not interested in quibbling with the manufacturer for the warranty. This is not a shingle failure event. I am interested in what the insurance company gives me as payment for this roof.

Thank you for your input.


Hi Kevin,
It sounds like we have a disconnect. I am not implying that they simply take a homeowners word.

Either the contractor or the insurance company, take a sample of the roof.

It is sent into ITEL, and they even have express service if needed.

Then ITEL evaluates the sample, usually can tell what it is, and its rating. They produce the report and it goes eventually to the home owner.

My experience: Based on the report, 99% of the time, the insurance has accepted the results and adjusted the estimate.

Sometimes they ask us for a retail estimate of the shingles and adjust to our pricing for the shingles.

It typically takes about 2 weeks to get everything complete.

If they are not 50 year or Designer, or TriLam it will say, and no adjustment will be made.

If you have one of these issues, let me know I will try to assist if I can. Its pretty straight forward.

Hope this helps…



I am definitely not implying that! I am saying that itel is incorrect in their assessment of shingles in a regular basis. I have been in discussions with them several times to inform them of their errors, and frankly they don’t care. They compare samples sent them to samples they have on file to compare color and thickness etc… anyone in this business knows that both those things change almost yearly and it a piss poor way to determine material types and manufacturers. We have had to get letters from manufacturers several times to show they were wrong and they still wouldn’t change their opinions. The ins industry loves them because it gives them a third party they can point to, that usually says everything is a 30yr to pay less. In the recent probs with them, it was as simple as reading the release tape on the shingle to ascertain it’s origins and type, and they still got it wrong. Roofs are not carpet!!!

Kevin Pratt

Please excuse my abbreviated message sent via iPhone


We got our results back from Itel. The shingle sample was identified as an Elk 50 year shingle. I haven’t seen the actual report yet but it was confirmed over the phone. They even stated that the comparable shingle is the Timberline Ultra HD Weather wood.
I am glad we didn’t have a leak or a hurry and we were able to wait almost the month it has taken to sort this out.

So, Kpratt, as a homeowner, I do have to disagree with you. Itel does seem to be pretty fair - at least in our case.


Thanks Jahna. Your information was really very helpful and reassured me that the process was going the way it should.


No Problem if you have any questions let me know…
After answering your inquiry I understand others have not had the same results.

We have done this many times without a problem, so hopefully it goes well for you.




ITEL has proven to be quite accurate in my experience.


Just because in your case it went well is not necessarily indecisive of intel’s overall performance. I of course would not hear about the good results they produce. However, I can tell you that when they are wrong, they rarely seem to accept it. They are here to save the ins company money, not you.